Regional nature parks

Parcs Naturels Régionaux

France's first Regional Nature Park was established here in the Nord in 1968: the Scarpe-Escaut Regional Nature Park , joined in 1998 by the Avesnois Regional Nature Park . Created to protect and enhance the status of the natural and cultural heritage of the inhabited countryside, these Parks contain a remarkable variety of landscapes and features.

Leafy bocage landscapes, grazing land and lovely farmhouses, bandstands and small chapels, the great Valjoly lake and the majestic Mormal forest, watermills, windmills and Maroilles... all enable the Avesnois to foster a taste for adventure.

Green hills once called slagheaps and now covered in plant life rich enough to amaze naturalists, pithead gears, mines, traditional farmsteads, chapels and pigeon houses, spa water and the Saint Amand forest all symbolise Hainaut, this heart of nature with its reminders of the former mining belt.